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PHAC Research: Less than one-third of Canadians have 'Trust' in Trudeau's Federal Government

Fewer Than One-Third of Canadians Have 'High Trust' in Federal Government: PHAC Research

August 26, 2023: Under a third of Canadians say they have "high trust" in the country's federal government, according to in-house research conducted by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

“Trust, particularly in the government and health care sector, is central to the effectiveness of public health measures,” said PHAC's report. “While respondents have a lot of trust in hospitals and health care workers, trust in the federal government (e.g., the Public Health Agency) is much lower."

The only groups that scored lower than the federal government were large media companies and celebrities, according to the research, as first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.

Related Story: Canadians Less Trusting of Governments, Politicians as Pandemic Drags On: Poll Canadians were asked to express their level of trust in a number of individuals and institutions using a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. When asked about the federal government, only 32 percent of Canadians said they had “high trust.”

When asked about doctors and nurses, 52 percent of respondents said they had a “high trust” level, scientists garnered 56 percent at that level, and family and friends scored 42 percent.

Journalists and reporters working for large media organizations achieved 26 percent of the high-trust ratings, 18 percent for“ordinary people,” 12 percent for “people I follow on social media,” and 8 percent for celebrities. “Celebrities and the people respondents follow on social media are trusted the least by respondents,” said the PHAC report, titled “Use Of Public Health Measures, Advice And Risk Assessment Survey.”

Results were drawn from surveys of 6,200 participants across the country and nine federal focus groups. Abacus Data received $172,237 for their research.

The findings follow a previous PHAC report, released June 8 and titled "The Impact Of The Pandemic Experience On Future Vaccine-Related Intentions And Behaviour,” that said public mistrust towards federal experts increased over the prolonged pandemic period.

“Asked what the remedy might be for restoring trust, participants suggested being honest and admit your mistakes,” said the report.

A total of 7 percent of Canadians indicated a diminished level of trust in their government compared to the period before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pandemic Experience report said few people gained a higher level of trust in government over the course of the pandemic and that many had "lost trust."

Researchers reported that health care professionals said patients' trust in at least one level of government was less than it was before the pandemic, adding that government information changed quickly, was sometimes contradictory, and lacked clarity.

The Earnscliffe Strategy Group, commissioned to undertake the study for $171,545, according to Blacklock's, said respondents want information that is factual, unbiased, and politically neutral, and that the material is attributed to its source.


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